Court Sends Picker, Two Others to Prison for Internet Scam in Benin City justice M. Itsueli of Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City on Thursday, July 20, 2023 convicted and sentenced Kelly Alakpa to prison for fraud.
Alakpa, 31, who claims to be a businessman, was arraigned by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for offences bordering on retention of proceeds of crime.
Upon arraignment the defendant pleaded guilty to the charge prompting the prosecution counsel, Salihu Ahmed to pray the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.
However, the defence counsel pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendant is a first time offender.
Justice Itsueli convicted and sentenced Alakpa to three years imprisonment or a fine of N300, 000. The court also ordered that a Mercedes-Benz GLK car, phones which were proceeds and instruments of crime recovered from him be forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria.
During investigation, Alakpa admitted being a Picker in the internet fraud chain and has received huge sums of money from unsuspecting victims.In the charge against him, Alakpa was accused of retaining the aggregate sum of N199, 628,431.99 (One Hundred and Ninety Nine Million, Six Hundred and Twenty Eight Thousand, Four Hundred and Thirty One Naira, Ninety Four Kobo), an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 17(b) of the same Act.
Similarly, at the Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Justice (Professor) C. A. Obiozor on Thursday convicted and sentenced Lucas Lucky Oboh to two years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000.
The convict is also to forfeit his phone and the sum of €200 euros recovered from him as proceeds of crime to the Federal government of Nigeria.
Oboh was prosecuted on one court charge of impersonation. The convict had impersonated the identity of Kevin Robet, an American and sent messages to one Natalia Amada with intent to defraud the unsuspecting victim.
In the same vein, Justice S. M. Shuiabu of the Federal High Court, Benin City On Wednesday, July 19, convicted and sentenced Peter Ikechukwu Ekpobuna to two years imprisonment or a fine of N400, 000 for fraudulent impersonation.Ekpobuna pleaded guilty to one count charge bordering on impersonation, prompting the prosecution counsel, I. M. Elodi, to pray the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.
The charge against him read: “That you, Peter Ikechukwu Ekpobuna sometime in April 2023 in Oghara, Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate the identity of Eunatavavares-Trader, a Brazilian bitcoin trader by fraudulently sending documents to one Wisely Silva through the internet which document you claim emanated from the said Eunatavavares-Trader with the intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 22(2) (b)(i) of the Cybercrime ( Prohibition Prevention etc.) Act 2015 and punishable under section 22(2)(b)(IV) of the same Act.”